But I won't be buying a Sony player anytime soon...
A couple of articles in today's paper make it clear that HD DVD is all but dead:
"Wal-Mart sides with Blu-ray" Globe And Mail Technology - Wal-Mart
"Toshiba to give up on HD DVD, end format war" Globe And Mail Technology - Toshiba
I rarely shop at Wal-Mart, but I can't deny their power to persuade the buying public. Enough major players in the retail seqment are already making it hard for HD DVD to survive (Netflix and Best Buy most recently).
But if the reports are true on Toshiba throwing in the towel, then the "war" has been won.
It's about time for Sony. I mean, how many times can you keep promoting losing formats and not give up trying to be difficult? In the 70s there was the Elcaset - a fat cassette tape with higher fidelty than the standard cassette tape. In the 80s there was Beta, and in the 90s there was the MiniDisc.
Adopters of all of these formats were losers in the long run. Sure, they may have got some mileage out of their devices, but they all lost in terms of interoperability - their media had to be converted to another format in order to survive. That or be purchased again.
Sony has rubbed me the wrong way for a long time now. Not just by annoying me for fragmenting the market - that's enough reason for me to boycott them - but with their products themselves. The few that I've owned have been less than spectacular.
The last time that I considered Sony for a major purchase was in 1995. I was looking for a relatively large-screen CRT TV - 32 inches or so. I really liked the picture on the Sony, and the perfectly flat screen was nice, but I ended up with a Panasonic GAOO. Sure, the screen wasn't perfectly flat, but the feature-set was much higher, and the remote control was out of this world. In comparison, the Sony remote looked like it was made in Russia.
A quick look on Best Buy's website shows me that Blu-ray players are also available from Pioneer, Samsung, and Sharp.
So Sony - you win. But you also lose. I won't be buying a damn thing with your name on it.